I love game 7’s! At this point it really does not matter to me who wins the Stanley Cup. There are compelling and interesting stories on both sides. In the end I am just glad there is a seventh game and this series has given us a lot. An 82 game regular season gave way to a grueling 2 month post-season and it all comes down to game one. The home team has won every game in this series so far and they have all been close in Vancouver. This has been a nasty series on the ice and at times off. National pride is at stake for both the US and Canada and even Europe for that matter. Sit back and enjoy the show. There is still no better post-game celebration in sports than the awarding of the Stanley Cup, and the NHL does it right. The present the cup to the players that won it. The players lift it first and that’s the way it should be.
Good for the Dallas Mavericks. Good for Mark Cuban. As I wrote earlier on KMOX.com, he is good for sports. He wants to win and will do whatever is needed to do so. He cares about his fans and the experience they have at the games and he is passionate about the spot while willing to think progressively to improve the sport and its marketing. Congratulations to them. It also helps prove you can’t always assemble the high priced guys on a whim and win right away.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS:
There are always different ways to skin a cat and usually that is also true when stats are involved. The Cardinals will tell you the recent sweep by Milwaukee is just another series and you move on. Frankly that would appear true, especially when you consider the Cincinnati series, how it went, and how things have gone since. Albert seems to be coming along and the Cardinals continue find production from the bench and organizational depth. The stats that start to concern me relate to Chris Carpenter.
Carpenter’s track record deserves the same benefit of the doubt Pujols received the first quarter of this season after a slow start. But in the end this is till a results oriented business and one stat surprisingly jumps off the page. Carpenter has had 26 starts dating back to August 4th of last season (14 this year – 12 last year). While his record in those games is 6-13, it’s the team record that really jumps out. The Cardinals are just 9-17 in games started by Carpenter dating back to August 4th of last season. This season they are 4-10 in games started by Carpenter.
In baseball the numbers don’t always tell the complete story but trends over time are hard to ignore. When you have a ticket to the game, he is one guy you still hope to get to see pitch (Garcia has moved into this category as well for me). Every time Carpenter takes the mound, you feel as if the Cardinals have a chance to win. That’s the reason he is the ace of this staff. If this team is going to keep it’s pace as one of the top teams in baseball, his chances of winning will have to become actual team wins.
The Dodgers owe Manny Ramirez 8 million dollars. The real question for the Dodgers is will they be able to meet payroll for their entire team. If they can’t, Major League Baseball comes in, takes over the Dodgers and pays the payroll. Ramirez retired, rather than serving his extended second suspension for performance enhancing drug use. It would be amazingly ironic if, while Ramirez is retired, he would receive an 8 million dollar check directly from MLB. You can just see that famous smile now.
There are a ton of questions and maybe even more solutions when it comes to this topic, but the first question to ask is why. Why is it needed? Is it being done for a competitive balance shift? Is it being done to enable the expanded playoff format? Are there more reasons? If you don’t like the answers to whatever questions are fueling the need for realignment, leave things alone. Frankly, with the way Pittsburgh and Chicago continue to play, I don’t mind having them in a six team division.
RAMS TO LA?
While it peaked the interest of people to find out a group from LA talked to Rams personnel about relocating or a sale, it really should not be a surprise. Look at the other teams they talked to. Minnesota, Jacksonville, San Diego, Oakland. Who else were they going to talk to? Anything is possible in sports and the NFL has demonstrated they have no problem slinging franchises across the country and can’t stop an owner from doing it as well, but this recent news should not surprise anyone and at the same point shold not really concern anyone yet too.